The Western Australian government has announced a $998,000 funding package to establish a new Rail Collaboration Centre in Karratha, with hubs located in Newman and Perth, independently operated by the CORE Innovation Hub.
According to a statement on Wednesday, the funding comes from the Local Manufacturing Investment Fund (LMIF), and “will support the assembly, manufacture, servicing, research and development” of rail freight wagons.
“Establishing [the RCC] will create jobs, training opportunities, and provide a huge boost to local manufacturing of rail freight wagons,” said Stephen Dawson, assistant minister for industry development.
The release from Dawson describes the centre as filling a gap “as a collaboration platform to undertake world-class testing, research and development of new rolling stock, infrastructure, technology, and ideas.”
Among the RCC’s major themes will be supporting activity and capability-building in the Pilbara.
“Being able to locally assemble, manufacture, service, carry out research and development, and drive innovation for wagons, are fantastic developments for the Pilbara region,” Dawson added.
Earlier this year resources company Rio Tinto announced it would partner with Gemco Rail to establish the first-ever rail ore car manufacturing and maintenance facility in the Pilbara.
It said at the time that it expects its first WA-built rail car to be delivered early next year and a Karratha-based facility to be established by the end of 2024, subject to the availability of a suitable property.
Picture: credit Rio Tinto